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Action taken against rogue traders in the borough
Tuesday 6th May, 2014

An operation to make sure rogue traders are not taking advantage of Wigan Borough residents has recently taken place.

Wigan Council’s Trading Standards and Licensing Section, joined up with Greater Manchester Police (GMP), Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to disrupt any rogue traders who are attempting to operate in the borough.

Rogue traders are individuals or groups of people who “cold-call” householders, often targeting vulnerable residents. They may appear to be legitimate businesses, most commonly offering home maintenance and repairs, but they often charge excessive fees for the work carried out. It is often of a very poor standard, or not carried out at all. They are also often linked to burglaries and normally target the elderly and vulnerable.

These operations bring together trading standards officers, police officers and other partners in order to tackle criminals who cause enormous emotional distress and massive financial implications to borough residents.

It saw a number of vehicles stopped to make sure that the traders were complying with consumer protection laws. They were also stopped to check for illegal fuel and for a number of motoring offences.

In total, 15 fixed penalty notices were issued, and one vehicle was seized after the driver was found without having insurance. Four vehicles were also found to be in an unroadworthy condition.

Julie Middlehurst, service manager for the trading standards and licensing section, said: “The operation we carried out with several organisations went very well and we plan to arrange similar operations in future. We work extremely to make sure our residents do not suffer at the hands of rogue traders.

“We would advise all residents to say no to any traders who turn up at their home uninvited and are offering to carry out work. While they may appear to be genuine and try to convince them that they will be getting a great deal, they are often charged more for very poor quality work.”

For a list of reputable local businesses, call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040506, or visit the Trading Standards Good Trader Scheme, which has over 200 businesses as members at goodtraderscheme. Alternatively if you are aged 50 or over, or have a disability, contact Age UK Wigan on 01942 826079, who can access the scheme for you, and contact the businesses on your behalf.

If you wish to report that activities of rogue traders call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040506.

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